A Bittersweet Milestone

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 13 Comments A+ a-

Last night I was roused out of a deep sleep by Devyn’s horrified cries of, “Mama!  Mama!  Mama!”  Its the worst way to be woken up, but I’ve gotten used to the rare night terrors that interrupt her sleep.  She rarely remembers waking up screaming, often never even wakes up at all, but they do a number on this mama’s heart rate.  As I rushed into her room last night, she fell out of bed, and as I tucked her back beneath the covers, I knew she never even woke in the first place.  I could have easily gone back into my own room, fallen back asleep, but I didn’t. 

I suddenly remembered what this day was bringing and lowered myself to her bed instead, wrapping my arms around my baby girl, and let the tears fall.  One even landed on her arm, and she brushed the wetness away in her sleep.  For the next 20 minutes, I soaked in Devyn.  I let the memories wash over me, it was like a slideshow as I watched her age from newborn to baby to toddler to preschooler.  I remembered the jolt of love that consumed me from the moment they laid her on my chest.  And I mourned the end of this phase of her life.  I wondered at the phrase, “Cherish each moment, it goes so fast” over and over.  The words so cliche, so quick to describe this phase of motherhood, and I couldn’t help but wonder at the truth of them.  It goes so fast.

I prayed.  I prayed fervently for her heart and for her protection.  I prayed that she’d be a light in the classroom, that she’d hang on to her independence with fierceness, and I prayed for her teacher and classmates, those she’d be spending every afternoon with for the next nine months.  I prayed with everything I could muster, and if prayer alone could sustain my Devyn, I made sure it would. 

After one last sweep of her brow, and a gentle kiss on her cheek, I made my way back to my own bed.  As I laid there, Ashlynn decided to wake up and make her presence known with some kicks and movements, and I rubbed the spot where she’d last kicked; tears running down my cheeks as I remembered that not too long ago, it was Devyn I cradled in my belly.  And again I was awed at God’s timing of blessing us with a newborn at the same time of sending our oldest off to school; there’s some bittersweet symbolism there.

As I predicted, Devyn woke far earlier than I wanted this morning.  When I opened my eyes, she stood at the side of my bed, already dressed in her outfit of choice for the big day.  She was none too pleased when I made her take it off for breakfast and play time.  The pancakes I made were no match for the excitement bubbling around inside of her and she left an almost full plate for Hudson to have as seconds.  I can’t tell you the number of times she asked if it was time to get dressed, or time to go, and she bounced her way through lunch.  There were moments of tears as I looked at my baby, now a little girl, but they were quickly dried by the sight of anticipation in her eyes.  Then finally… finally… it was time to go.

I left Devyn sitting next to her preschool friend, Shyann, in a circle, on the carpet, in a new classroom, with a new teacher and my heart ached.  She never looked more ready, or more independent, or more beautiful, and I knew it was time to say good-bye.  Hudson ran up to Devyn, through the middle of the circle, for one last hug, and we left our precious girl there.

I’m already counting down the minutes until we can pick her up.

Kindergarten1.png   Kindergarten2.png

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I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

13 comments

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Christina
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3:05 PM delete

What a day for you all. These too are memories to cherish even as we mourn the passing of a stage in their lives.

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Neely
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3:07 PM delete

Aww she looks so happy!

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Sarah
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3:23 PM delete

oh friend, I remember all too well those tears last year. And now, tomorrow we start first grade. I can feel the emotions coming right back!

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AndiMae
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3:32 PM delete

Oh, Jenn! You are such a beautiful writer! I really, really loved this post. I am praying that the transition to kindergarten goes smoothly for all of you!
xo

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Courtney
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3:58 PM delete

Ok. I am at work right now with tears streaming down my face. She's not even my daughter and I am so nostalgic thinking about her being in a classroom!!!! Where did 6 years just go?!
Tell her that she wore my favorite outfit when you pick her up...

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Dareth
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5:19 PM delete

What a beautiful post.

She looks so over the moon excited for school.

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Paula
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7:11 PM delete

She looks so cute for her first day of school!!!
BIG HUGS to you mom!!!

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Christine
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9:49 PM delete

You did it to me too. Tears are rolling down my face from reading this too. I can't believe she's old enough to be in kindergarten. I LOVE her outfit and the look of pride on her face.

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Anonymous
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11:23 PM delete

OK, more tears....again, Jenn, you have such a gift with writing. We can feel your emotions through your words. I have told you since her birth how fast the years go, and here we are.....going to kindergarten! 18 short years to love them, train them, teach them, and help them find their faith in Christ in this world. We all love her sooo much...it's just going tooo fast. =(
Love you,
Mom

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pedro
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5:07 AM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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pedro
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5:08 AM delete

Gavin doesn't look nearly as happy.

I still remember our first day of kindergarten. My mom and I were staying with her parents in Longmont, and we drove all the way up to meet you and your mom. I still remember that you were a LOT more confident than I felt. As we entered the classroom, it seemed as if you had already been going for weeks - you were in command and at home. Sounds a lot like miss Devyn.

I kept flashing back to these memories from twenty five years ago as I read your post. And forward to when my little girl reaches this milestone.

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Dana Marie
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10:37 AM delete

SO well written Jenn! I literally was tearing up reading it (at work - so thank you for that!) AND maybe tell our girl Devyn to stay away from Gavin, he looks cranky.

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Angie S
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7:59 PM delete

Such a sweet post, and so ironic that I am reading it the day before my sweet Layla has her first day of kindergarten.

The tears are streaming right now.

I teared up at meet the teacher today. I held her so close today as I played with her and hugged her good night.

IT is true, it goes so fast!

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